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Issue 3, 2010
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The role of Cu on the reduction behavior and surface properties of Fe-based Fischer–Tropsch catalysts

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Abstract

The effect of Cu on the reduction behavior and surface properties of supported and unsupported Fe-based Fischer–Tropsch synthesis (FTS) catalysts was investigated using in situ X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) in combination with ex situ bulk characterization. During exposure to 0.4 mbar CO–H2 above 180 °C, the reduction of CuO to Cu0 marked the onset of the reduction of Fe3O4 to α-Fe. The promotion effects of Cu are explained by a combination of spillover of H2 and/or CO molecules from metallic Cu0 nuclei to closely associated iron oxide species and textural promotion. XAS showed that in the supported catalyst, Cu+ and Fe2+ species were stabilized by SiO2 and, as a result, Fe species were not reduced significantly beyond Fe3O4 and Fe2+, even after treatment at 350 °C. After the reduction treatment, XPS showed that the concentration of oxygen and carbon surface species was higher in the presence of Cu. Furthermore, it was observed that the unsupported, Cu-containing catalyst showed higher CO2 concentration in the product gas stream during and after reduction and Fe surface species were slightly oxidized after prolonged exposure to CO–H2. These observations suggest that, in addition to facilitating the reduction of the iron oxide phase, Cu also plays a direct role in altering the surface chemistry of Fe-based FTS catalysts.

Graphical abstract: The role of Cu on the reduction behavior and surface properties of Fe-based Fischer–Tropsch catalysts

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Sep 2009, accepted on 02 Nov 2009 and first published on 19 Nov 2009


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B920256K
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2010,12, 667-680

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    The role of Cu on the reduction behavior and surface properties of Fe-based Fischer–Tropsch catalysts

    E. de Smit, F. M. F. de Groot, R. Blume, M. Hävecker, A. Knop-Gericke and B. M. Weckhuysen, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2010, 12, 667
    DOI: 10.1039/B920256K

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